Deandre Woods didn’t need much convincing over the weekend on his unofficial visit to Vanderbilt. The three-star wide receiver out of Pinson (Ala.) Clay-Chalkville knew that he wanted to commit to the Commodores and James Franklin, he just wanted to make sure everything checked out.
Woods will be a physical presence in the Vanderbilt receiving corps.
Clearly a 17-13 win over Auburn and a quick peak at the SEC campus was all the confirmation he needed.
“I went in knowing I was going to commit,” Woods said of the trip. “I just wanted to go see. I’d never been so I just wanted to see how it was. I imagined how it was going to be and that’s how it was. It was just the coaches and everything they’re trying to do with the program that convinced me. They need some receivers and I just want to be a part of it and win an SEC championship and a national championship.”
A good student who was drawn to the academics of Vanderbilt, Woods mentioned the best of both worlds that Vanderbilt offered.
“Vanderbilt, they’ve got two of the best things,” he said. “They’ve got the SEC and they’ve got the academics. I look at it that there’s a good chance at Vandy to go play football but I’ve also got a good opportunity to look past football and have that degree.”
In addition to the obvious SEC and academic draws to the Vanderbilt program, Woods also had built a very strong bond with the coaching staff, particularly wide receivers coach Josh Gattis. The meeting with James Franklin strengthened that bond.
“Coach Gattis, we’ve got that tight bond,” he said. “Then when I met coach Franklin, he’s an unbelievable coach and I just let him know, I wanted to be a Dore.”
On Friday night, Woods’ team lost a close 21-20 game to Huntsville High School. Woods got up at 6 am the following morning to make the trip to Nashville and drove back on Saturday evening. In between, he was able to take in a big win for the rising program and he was impressed with the gameday atmosphere that accompanied it.
“The atmosphere was crazy,” he said. “The fans were going crazy. That’s how the SEC is. I knew Vandy was going to win because they’re such a growing team and I just want to be a part of that.”
Prior to his Saturday morning trip, Woods caught 5 passes for over 50 yards in a 21-20 loss.
Woods still has plans to take his official visit to Vanderbilt along with all of the other commitments but don’t expect him to be on any other official visit lists. The big wide out didn’t mince words when it came to the possibility of taking other recruiting trips.
“I’m just Vandy,” he said. “I’m 100 percent Vandy. I’ve had a lot of time to think about it and I really know this is where I want to go and I’m done looking at other schools. I won’t be taking any other visits.”
At 6-3, 210 pounds, Woods looks college ready on the physical side of things. He has the route-running polish, the hands and the size to immediately contribute on the Vanderbilt roster. With Vanderbilt’s top two receivers aging, the opportunity is there.
“I just think I can bring size and a lot of different things,” he said. “I can help in a lot of ways. They need big receivers. Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd, they’re upperclassmen and will be leaving soon. Playing time was important because I want to get a chance to show them what I can do and perform on the field. I just want to get that chance to play.”
This fall, Woods has caught 30 passes for 354 yards and four touchdowns while helping his team to a 7-1 record.